Black Death (2011)

In the mid 14th century the bubonic plague is sweeping across Europe.  Most people believe the pestilence is a punishment from God.  A young monk named Osmond isn’t so sure about that or his current job at the moment.  He has a girlfriend on the side, which is most likely frowned upon by the order, and he sends her away to escape the plague and to lessen his temptation.  He prays to God for a sign, and finds it in a man, sent by the church, who needs a guide to a remote village. The guy is Ulric (Sean Bean), and has been ordered by the bishop to see why this village has not been touched by the plague.  Surely it is because of witchcraft, and Ulric is going to get to the bottom of it.

Ulric and Osmond are part of a large group, and after a few days reach the village.  The lady in charge of the place seems nice enough, but the group believes they know what is really going one here.  The head lady takes Osmond into a back room where she shows him his girlfriend who has been killed outside of town.  Later that night she drugs the rest of the group and leads Osmond into the woods, where she does some necromancy and brings his woman back to life.  So they really are a bunch of witches!  The rest of the group is locked up and will be executed unless they renounce God and join this village of the damned. They aren’t too keen on the idea and most of them come to a horrible fate. Especially Ulric who is ripped apart by horses, but not before exposing the fact that he has the plague, and their village is now screwed.  Osmond and the witch are the only ones left standing, and he will not stop until she is dead.

Alex’s Thoughts: I came upon this while browsing Netflix. I have been wanting to see Nic Cage’s Season of the Witch, as I thought the plot seemed like I would enjoy it, but stumbled on this one that looks to have the exact same plot, and I would rather watch Sean Bean in a role like this than Nic Cage any day.  The story is good enough, and it a period piece.  Sean Bean pretty much plays his Game of Thrones character in this one, and there is nothing wrong with that.  The ending where the monk takes over Sean Bean’s job as witch hunter for the church is interesting but you only get to see about 2 minutes of that.  If you like period movies, you might want to try this out. Alex Rates This Movie 7/10

Tim’s Thoughts: This wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be. The tone is consistent, and while there aren’t many surprises, the pacing is solid, and the characters are all pretty stock, but still very watchable. Not Kubrick, but definitely not bad. I don’t have a lot to say, mostly because the “twist” has been done a hundred times, but to the film’s credit, I was not clock watching like I normally do. I think if you like medieval period flicks then this will scratch that itch. Tim Rates This Movie 7/10

“This village is without the pestilence… but it is also without God. For this, they will suffer.”

View the IMDB entry for this movie here, or add it to your Netflix queue.

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